You’ll know from yourself how important pets can be in a child’s life whether you had one yourself or your children did.

As we watch our grandchildren grow it is important we instill in them the sorts of values we have.

What can a child gain from owning a pet?

The sorts of values a child can gain from owning a pet are many.

Children learn to look after something else rather than themselves.

They learn to be gentle and caring, and a child also develops empathy to the needs of other creatures.

All of these traits when developed at a young age help the child extend them into wider areas as they grow and eventually become parents themselves.

Research also shows that children who had pets become more active in their local community.

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Does it matter what kind of pet a child has?

A child can learn important skills from a small goldfish or a puppy.

The important thing is the pet should fit into the family’s lifestyle.

It is no good getting a very time-consuming creature as a puppy if both parents are working, for example.

Taking on any animal is important and the animal’s welfare should be paramount in all cases.

What age should my grandchild get a pet of his or her own?

Growing up with pets is great from any age, but a child should be 8 years old before they get a pet of their own.

At this age a child is much more aware of what is going on around them and are also able to do the tasks required to help keep a pet.

Low maintenance pets are a great way for any child to begin, such as goldfish and hermit crabs.

They can then move up to more sophisticated pets, such as kittens and puppies, as they develop better skills.

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Why is it important to teach children to become responsible pet owners?
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